Heads up: Some or all of the identifications affected by this split may have been replaced with identifications of Nisitrus. This happens when we can't automatically assign an identification to one of the output taxa. Review identifications of Nisitrus vittatus 57482

Taxonomic Split 96984 (Committed on 2021-08-10)

https://zenodo.org/record/5156259. All N. vittatus in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore are now N. malaya.

Added by kokhuitan on August 10, 2021 05:18 | Committed by kokhuitan on August 10, 2021
split into


@loarie, according to https://zenodo.org/record/5156259, which is also reflected in Orthoptera Species File, N. vittatus in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore should be N. malaya, and N. vittatus is confined to Sumatra and Borneo. Any issue to commit this draft? Thanks.

Posted by kokhuitan 6 months ago (Flag)

Can you use Nisitrus vittatus 57482 as the input and also one of the outputs? see: https://www.inaturalist.org/blog/40417-using-a-taxon-split-input-as-an-output
Nisitrus vittatus 57482 should be active, did you inactivate it?
Also Nisitrus vittatus 1270922 should be inactive and removed from this taxon change (replaced with Nisitrus vittatus 57482)
Can you also make a sensu stricto atals and add it to Nisitrus vittatus 57482

Posted by loarie 6 months ago (Flag)

Ok, good to update https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/curator+guide, which is still showing the old way. I've reactivated Nisitrus vittatus 57482, and edited its atlas. Have also inactivated and removed Nisitrus vittatus 1270922 from the taxon change.

Posted by kokhuitan 6 months ago (Flag)

Looks good - thanks for jumping through the hoops. Yes updating is on my list

Posted by loarie 6 months ago (Flag)

Excellent! thanks a lot

Posted by tony_robillard 6 months ago (Flag)

Hi guys.

I am afraid this Taxon Split (based on Atlasing of species) was not appropriate. This is a misuse of curatorial power.
Note we cannot simply assume ALL wild populations of Nisitrus in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore belong to N. malaya. It is plausible but the idea is subjective. In fact, Tan et al. (2021) never claimed such. They still assigned one 1902 specimen from the Pahang/Perak border to N. insignis.
If you believe those iNat observations reported as N. vittatus belong to N. malaya, as listed in Pages 45~50 of Tan et al. (2021), you should give such a suggestion to each existing observation one by one.

Posted by msone 5 months ago (Flag)

Hi msone, thats frustrating. But I agree if there's overlap in the species ranges that should be reflected in the atlases that the split used. They are:

Posted by loarie 5 months ago (Flag)

Hi Loarie. "If there's overlap in the species ranges" between these two species, this taxon split would really be meaningless in science.

Posted by msone 5 months ago (Flag)

When a species is split, on iNat we have 2 options, one is to just activate the carved off species and let the community sort out existing IDs that intended sensu lato but the presence of the carved off species now implies are sensu stricto. The rule of thumb is if you can manually engage with each of these obs with such existing IDs (e.g. 'hey please replace/update your ID because this was split) then thats the best approach

But if a species has too many existing IDs thats sometimes not tractable so option 2 is to split the species with a taxon change. A taxon split will replace all IDs of the input (Nisitrus vittatus) with the common ancestor of the outputs (e.g. Nisitrus) if there are no atlaes, or for obs outside of the atlase or where the atlases overlap.

but if the obs are uniquely inside the narrowed species' atlase (Nisitrus vittatus) it will leave that ID untouuched. Likewise if the obs is uniquely in the carved off species' output (Nisitrus malaya) it will replace the ID with an ID of that species

you can read more here: https://www.inaturalist.org/blog/40417-using-a-taxon-split-input-as-an-output

But essentially there was a choice to do option 1 or option 2 here. kokhuitan opted for option 2

But then there's a separate debate about overlap in the ranges and whether that was captured in the atlases

I hope that helps give some context. But specifically to your comment, if the intent was to roll back existing IDs of Nisitrus vittatus with Nisitrus, then overlapping atlases would be the way to achieve that

Posted by loarie 5 months ago (Flag)

I confirm that the split was appropriate. N. vitattus and N. malaya never occur in sympatry, and the differences between the two species observed in the specimens are really consistent with the iNat observations. As the leading author of Tan et al. paper, I'm really happy that the observations IDs (many of them listed in the paper) were adjusted to follow the paper's content so dynamically.
About the N. insignis mentioned from Peninsular Malaysia, it was an old specimen series (from 1902) and I am not completely sure it was not a labelling error (but there is also a clear lack of observation / collection in many places in P. Malaysia of course).

Posted by tony_robillard 5 months ago (Flag)

tony_robillard : I did not really mean to deny the validity of your published results. Your work was excellent, and I repeat the distribution of N. malaya seems plausible in general. However, I don't think you can be so certain that N. vittatus is NEVER present in the peninsula (and vice versa for N. malaya in Sumatra etc.). I don't think anything can be so definite in Biogeography.

Nevertheless, my concerns about this Taxon change are different.
I still think this Taxon Split (atlas) was a little too hasty (and too "dynamically" a bit - I quote tony's word although ironically) without the sufficient. This was based merely on a single paper that was only published 2 weeks ago. This kind of mass change should ideally be done, based on a (well-)accepted/agreed idea (not on a 2-week old proposal).

loarie: Thank you for your detailed explanation. Now, I can see some merit in applying Taxon Split Opt. 2 for some cases (e.g. island populations etc.), although I am still unsure if this was necessary or appropriate for the current case. Just no discussions/feedbacks yet available from the community/specialists on those new species prior to this curatorial change.

kokuitan mentioned the new species name was listed in the database (Orthoptera Species File). Please be reminded it only means the new taxon becomes available for science (in nomenclature). It does not mean the geographic distributions of the new species in the hypothesis become 'confirmed'.

Plus, iNaturalist is citizen science, not the platform for particular authors to promote their publications.

Posted by msone 5 months ago (Flag)

Thanks everyone for reviewing this and glad to hear no action needed.

msone the split just effected existing ID's of the input taxon. So while post-split Nisitrus malaya is now an active taxon for people to choose, there's nothing to prevent people from ID'ing Singapore observations as N. vittatus. Its implied that people are making IDs conditioned on the iNat taxonomy at the time they are making IDs (even though the taxonomy is changing all the time and there's lots of confusion about taxonomy so thats not always the case). But hopefully people, when making IDs, will understand that iNat is treating N. vittatus in the strict sense and has carved off N. malaya as a distinct species

Posted by loarie 5 months ago (Flag)

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